Signing up with a new online casino takes some consideration for a number of reasons, such as player security, game quality and quantity, withdrawal times and payment methods, to name just a few. But one factor that really excites online gamblers is the offer of a juicy welcome bonus, the bigger the better! Best not to get carried away by an impressive looking number though, as often-times there are some tricky terms and conditions attached to those extravagant welcome bonus offers. So just what do live dealer players need to be looking out for when it comes to a welcome bonus package?
Deposit or No Deposit?
There are two principal types of bonus on offer from the majority of online casinos, one which matches your deposit and another which does not require a deposit at all. These no deposit bonuses are becoming rare beasts in the current landscape of online gambling. Most sites prefer that players put their money where their mouth is, and don’t want to attract the attentions of the type of bonus hunter for whom a free bonus is just too hard to resist. Even at those casinos where you can find a no deposit bonus offer – Leo Vegas for example – very often the offer is restricted to certain countries such as the UK. That’s why most of those exciting welcome packages revolve around Deposit bonuses.
How does the Bonus Work?
A deposit bonus is one which promises to match the players first (or first few) deposits by a percentage, up to a given maximum bonus. So an online live dealer casino like Party Casino, for example, offers a 100% bonus on the player’s first deposit up to a maximum bonus of $100. Other casinos like Jackpot City and Royal Vegas are offering sums well in excess of $1,000 spread over a number of deposits. Jackpot City offer a 100% bonus on each of the first four player deposits up to a maximum of $400 a time, meaning that players with deep pockets may prefer this type of offer.
What’s the Catch?
It is important not to be blinded by those big numbers, and to pay some attention to the terms and conditions attached to these welcome offers. For example, Rich Casino’s 500% on your first five deposits sounds great, but live dealer casino fans will be disappointed when they realize that the bonus cannot be used to play their favourite games. Every bonus offer comes with wagering requirements attached, where the player must bet a certain amount before the bonus money (and anything you win with that money) can be withdrawn. If you take 40 times the bonus as a pretty reasonable wagering requirement these days, then you will see that quite a lot of betting is required. Also, live dealer casino fans will often discover that they cannot contribute towards wagering requirements by playing at those tables. In fact the best case scenario is that live dealer games will count towards 10% or maybe as high as 25% towards the wagering requirement, meaning that $10 spent on the live dealer blackjack table usually only counts for $1 off the wagering requirement at best.
Take it or Leave it?
Players can get pretty hot under the collar when they try to withdraw money from their account only to discover that bonus conditions mean the money cannot yet be taken out. So does that mean that bonuses are a bad thing? Absolutely not! Even a bonus with the worst wagering requirements in the world will still be worth taking for the opportunity to play more games on the site. As long as you understand exactly what you are signing up for before you deposit your hard-earned cash, then a welcome bonus is very welcoming indeed! Just make sure to cast an eye over the fine print and you will be able to find yourself a better deal.